Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Beersnake1, Jan 1, 2022.
Excellent choice. IMO this one fits as well. Maybe for the second half...
3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze
375 ml corked bottle, bottled 17/01/2017, so just over 5 years old. Best by date of 2037. In y cellar since I brought it home from Belgium in 2018.
pours a brilliant dark gold color, bright white head. aroma and the taste are a great balance of tart, mild funk, oak, touch of stone fruit. bit of acidity, but there is a touch of sweetness in the finish to balance it. thin to medium bodied, crisp carbonation.
Ive cross posted this in the Northeast Beer are you drinking thread. Wanted to get back to a cellar beer also to share with the dwellers!
This is from a CT Brewery. Stubborn Beauty in Middletown and their 2019 Annual Release imperial stout. They always tweak the recipe, so one year is not like the next. This vintage is a 12% straight up imperial stout with no additives.
I think this may be my last beer tonight, but hope to do a day beer tomorrow with the crappy weather. Im picking up something for the Trippel tasting from Little House Brewing, so that will be fun.
Onto my review:
I picked up this 16.9 oz bottle at the brewery about a year ago, so they had already aged it some for me. The bottle has been in my cellar since then.
The beer pours into my snifter at cellar temp a black coffee color and no light passes through my glass on this one. A dense creamy beige head of 4 cm overtops the glass but doesnt spillover. Leaves very tight lattice as the foam fades back down my glass.
The aroma on this one is sort of mild overall. I get some dry bakers chocolate, rich fudge, and I keep getting whiffs of banana. Which is kinda weird, and doesnt dominate at all, but it is in the background frequently. No hop character here and no hint of the 12% ABV either.
First sip reveals a medium to light body, a little thinner than anticipated and also has very fine and soft carbonation. The beer drinks pretty easy for a 12% imperial stout.
The flavor is similar to nose, bakers chocolate and some fudge and some high cacao slightly bitter chocolate too. Not a sweet big beer and no hops and still no ABV poking through.
This is a decent enough imperial stout, its not flawed anywhere and hiding 12% ABV is a pretty good trick. I think I would pass on getting another bottle though.
4.08 in the BA DB
This is still a lot of fun. Popped this morning - tons of whiskey still (rye spice even - nice!) as well as a decent amount of coffee, vanilla (assuming from the whiskey) and caramel. Hints of char, smoke, even alcohol heat still.
I’m happy I’ve got three more of these, this is a lot of fun, and cheap! Any word on Lag brewing this again?
Apparently they've been delaying the realize a ton, been pushed back a few times unfortunately
2019 Massive! Bourbon barrel aged. I had a fresh 2020 that I loved so I'm excited for this. Still the caramel bomb I remember, but I think there is more raisin and dark fruit now. Less pine as well. The carbonation is a bit light, batch variation? I can't say this is any better or worse than I recall the fresh bottle being. Just different. Overall I think this could go another few years at least. I'd love to get a sizable stash of this magnificent beast some day for extended experimentation.
Working my way through my final five imperial stout bombers. This one is easier than the remaining ones as it is not barrel aged. This beer doesn't get a lot of love comparted to BA Benthic, but I've always enjoyed it. This is my last bottle from the November 2017 pickup, alerted while waiting for CBS bottles at Whole Foods to this release later in the day.
Half Acre Big Hugs
Bottle Notes: 10% ABV, bottled and purchased in the Fall of 2017, properly cellared until 2/13/22, refrigerated thereafter until pulling this morning.
Yesterday - OG Review: 4.45 Overall - From same batch
& Today: Still looks very good, creamy rich head, soapy lacing. Didn't not coffee in my OG review, still getting nice vanilla, stronger on the nose, more balanced (appreciated) in the taste. Enjoying the roast base, some hops bitterness remains. Very light and easy drinking, no carbonation. Thin body, seemed to have aged based on my original review notes. Drinking way under the listed ABV, at least at this juncture (1/4 through). Overall, wouldn't intentionally cellar this (or any coffee beer, just didn't get to it), but it is a very light and easy imperial stout, good for the morning or perhaps an after dinner dessert beer. I'd rate the beer at this stage 4.25, 3.75, 3.75, 3.5 & 3.75 overall.
Have a Parabola from the same year planned for later this week.
Look at all that foam! Carbonation is also great.
I get some caramel malt, burnt sugar, oxidation that leans towards the astringent side in the smell. Not a good sign.
That astringent oxidation, sadly, dominates the taste leaving whatever is good behind. Close to 11 years old, not in my possession that long, it may have encountered not so ideal conditions. Too bad. I hope my bottle of 2012 didn't suffer the same fate.
Yes. It even looks like it leans away. ;-)
Returning with a 2017 Firestone Walker Parabola.
OG Review Linked Here:
4.16/5 rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Today's Cellar Version:
Bottle Notes: 12 oz bottled 1/16/17, properly cellared upon purchase until 2/20/22, refrigerated thereafter until this morning. 14.5% vs, the 13% listed in the BA Database.
Appearance: One monumental difference are the significant floaters of sediment which I wasn't expecting. I will likely leave at least the final 2 oz for the drain. 4.25 not accounting for the sediment.
Aroma: Strong, smooth bourbon leads, light roast malt and chocolate. Really enticing. 4.25
Taste: Roast malt, chocolate fudge lead, smooth bourbon follows. Toffee and caramel chilling in the back. Full flavor, sweet but hops and roast malt help keep it in check. Really tasting good. 4.5
Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, fuller body than the fresh version, unexpected. Felt a little of the sediment initially, and it bothers me so I'm going to cut this pour short, unfortunately, because the rest of it has held up well. Potent from the onset. 4.5 not considering sediment.
Overall: This is the first aged Firestone Walker among several I've had with sediment, so not sure if this was impacted by the store storage or other factors. I've kept it in the same manner as my other properly cellared beers. That said, it has definitely kept up well in the other attributes, nice creamy full flavored stout, aroma has even improved over time. Another fine FW cellar pour, I won't count the sediment against it. 4.5
Will return next week after the Tripel weekend tasting.
They release every year
They've pushed the release 3 times this year so far. They're blaming covid making it hard to release it but they keep making all their other shit Nd even released new Hard Teas.
It's set to release in Fall now which i dont understand .
2019 Noon Whistle Rob Boss Did It, scotch ale aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.
I didn't wait the offered 5 years.
Smooth and matches my memory of the 2017 release: "750ml bottle poured into a snifter shows a muddy brown body and briefly supports a slight cream colored head. Nearly no lacing.
Bourbon, oak, leather, tobacco, vanilla, plum, and molasses aromas intermingle without fighting.
Flavors match with a little booze heat on the end.
Mouthfeel is appropriately medium, leaning lighter, but creamy and oily.
Overall a great sipping beer, perfect for a fine Churchill."
I don't have a cigar today, but it would be nice. The booze is sooo smooth. Still a great barrel use and I'm sure the cork ensured no loss.
I'll try to keep the 2020 release until 2025, at least.
2018 Bourbon County Midnight Orange
Dark as night. Thin head gone in a flash with some coco legs on the edge of the glass. Thick mouth, with minimal carb. Carbonation is still present but only a slight zip on the backend. Fudge, sweet chocolate and the bourbon barrel are alive and well with traces of orange on the finish and hint of sugar. Very drinkable as it’s more flavorful than boozy.
I acquired this from a man who died, was gifted a portion of his cellar.
This ones for you dead man.
2015 Alesmith / Mikeller
Beer Geek Speedway
Imperial Oatmeal Stout inspired by Speedway and Beer Geek Brunch Weasel with kopi luwak coffee added.
This for sure past its prime. Smells and tastes like charred medium roast coffee left in a cup overnight in a cabin that had the fireplace burnin during winter.
Nothing against that at all i like my coffee stone cold, but there are notes of oxidation that bug me. No traces of that peppery shit at all though
10/10 cuz paying respek to the fallen. Would have loved to try this fresh!
After a few more sips...this shits more Peppery than Mark Ruffalos hair
2020 Founders KBS
Packaged date 3/6/2020. Hadn't intended on cellaring this this long because of all the negative comments about pepper tastes but this has aged very well. Very creamy chocolate taste with still a barrel presence as well as coffee. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel. Still have one left in my cellar fridge to experiment with. Slainté.
What a reference
My delivery from Hair of the Dog arrived a few weeks ago. The sediment should be settled, time to dig in! Knowing this might be last box (hope not though! Maybe they'll start taking orders again) made picking difficult. Sophie's Choice, sigh.
2015 Cherry Adam From the Wood.
I loved the 2018 I had last year, gave it a 4.53. Todays is a different animal altogether. The honey, chocolate, and vanilla are replaced by musty leather and mild umami. The tart cherry is still there. Enjoyable enough but falls far short of my previous experience.
Returning with the last new to me Prairie Artisan beer left in my possession.
Krebs Brewing Company Prairie Artisan Ales Pirate Noir
Bottle Notes: Purchased for $5 at Fischman's Fall 2017 going out of business sale. Properly cellared until 2/20/22, refrigerated since until opening this morning.
12 ounces, 12% ABV, bottle date MB1 2017. Imperial Stout aged in Jamaican Rum Barrels. Brewed and bottled by Kreebs Brrewing Company, Kreebs, Oklahoma. Distributed by our friends at Shelton Brothers.
Appearance: Pitch black base, nominal fast recedeing dart tan head leave faint white tan ring around the edge. 4.0
Aroma: Roasted malt the strongest noted flavor, light rum backing. 3.5
Taste: Consistent with the aroma, but stronger. Nice roast malt, chocolate and fudge leads, rum light, works well with the base. I get molasses as well, though it's not an added adjunct. Five years oxidized this a bit, but still tastes very good and I'm enjoying. 4.0
Mouthfeel: Faint fizzy carbonation, creamy full body, syrupy. Sweet overall, but not cloying, strong like bull, much stronger than anticipated from the start. Slight sweet aftertaste. 4.25
Overall: This worked very well for me, as I am not a big fan of rum. The rum worked well in a supporting role, not sure how much the five years helped on that aspect. I wouldn't age this further, perhaps would have enjoyed it more in the 1-3 range, perhaps less depending on the rum. Overall, I am enjoying this, glad I opened today. 4.0
Will be in the New Beer Weekend / Sunday thread with two 2019 Central Waters cellar new to me beers which I am looking forward to trying.
Starting the day right.
2019 Hair of the Dog Matt
drank at cellar temp 55 degrees. pours very dark brown, almost black. just a thin ring of bubbles, no head. aroma of dark malt - cocoa, mild molasses, pipe tobacco, smoke, a little boozy. similar flavor, earthly, touch of hard cider, lingering finish. just a touch of carbonation, so sticky mouthfeel.
I had a "normal" 2020 BCBS last night. Drank like a champ, no heat, lots of dark fruits, bourbon and some char.
I think I will pop another 2020 variant tonight to celebrate this April snowstorm
2020 Founders KBS Maple Mackinac Fudge
Bottled on 10/26/2020. The good news is that I don't think cellaring hurt this. The bad news is that the maple isn't as prominent as I wish it was, which might be an unrealistic expectation on my part. The fudge is still nicely featured and maybe the maple adds a sweetness that I expected to be different. The bourbon is borderline nonexistent though. All in all this was a good but not great cellaring experience.
I just had my last one of these a few weeks back and I would mostly agree with your sentiment. It "held up" but lost the maple that made it so special. Funnily enough I think that thickened the body, as the sugar was left behind without the taste
I pulled an audible and decided to review my Founders KBS Mackinac Fudge today, inspired by @CaptainHate and @Rug 's reviews.
Original Review Link - Original review performed 11/15/20, or a month and a day after the beer was bottled.
I have been shifting from "Pastry Stouts" to Barrel only (Coffee / Coconut still in my wheelhouse) the past year plus (Emily's BCBS Prop 2020 really killed any further interest).
I rated this as my Silver Medal Winner for best new 2020 release. By memory, I thought I liked it better than most KBS variants, but not this high (4.5 / 4.0 / 4.75 / 5.0 / 4.5).
How does this compare nearly 1 1/2 years later?
Bottle Date: 10/15/2020 (Slightly older than Captain Hate's bottle)
Appearance: This held up well, same creamy tan head and generous lacing. No Score Change
Aroma: Let this warm the same 15 minutes before diving in. Aroma also consistent, heavy fudge lead, roast chocolate malt lighter and slower to emerge. Didn't get coffee, maple or barrel originally, did not get any of the three today. No Score Change
Taste: Very similar to the original fresh version. Nice warm chocolate fudge brownie over the oven. Barrel is more hidden in terms of taste 20 minutes in, but this beer is potent. Over the next ten minutes, the barrel emerges, not as smooth as original, more harsh, which I am somewhat surprised by. No vanilla this time, which is fine by me. I didn't get the maple taste in the OG review and none of course today, also fine by me in this stage of my craft beer journey. I think the richness has faded measurably, and this version is 0.75 lower than my OG 4.75. 4.0 Today
Mouthfeel: Still full, creamy and wonderful. Less lacing than noted in my fresh review. I'm getting more sweetness today than my notes indicate, and would have liked the fresh version better in terms of balance. Getting more of a sweet aftertaste, more so than before. This is still an excellent mouthfeel beer, but not the perfection noted fresh. 4.5
Overall: This is a solid beer, but definitely an example of how nothing good happens on the streets after 2AM, and nothing really improves in terms of adjunct stouts beyond those not balanced / too heavy in adjuncts or too much barrel heat. This beer was excellent fresh, it is very good today. Would buy this fresh again, would drink (or gift) fresh in the future. 4.25 (0.25 less than fresh overall score).
Mouthfeel and Taste took the 0.50 hits, Overall 0.25 hit. Still a very enjoyable beer 18 months in. Well done Founders!
Going deep into the Revolution Vault for the oldest vintage (2017) of this I still have on hand. This remains one of my favorite beers period. I will compare today's pour to my most recent review is of the 2020 vintage reviewed 12/10/21, and my OG review of this same exact 2017 vintage, though with 20 months on it vs. the 52 months it has aged today.
Revolution Ryeway to Heaven
Can Notes: Canned 12/1/17, refrigerated since purchase. 13.8% ABV, 12 oz. Can states this is brewed with over 60% rye and aged 12 months in unidentified American Rye Whiskey Barrels.
Appearance: Consistent with the 2017 (Aug 19) and 2020 (Dec 21) notes, very creamy head leaves generous cover over the base and fine lacing. Base dark brown. Heavy slow carbonation claws its way upward through the thick base. Love it. 4.5
Aroma: After 15 minutes to warm, I begin to dive in. The raisin / plum combo is consistent with prior versions and pleasant. Rye aroma doesn't emerge until this warms further. There is a notable degradation of the strength of the aroma with 2 1/2 more years on it. Both the fresh version and the OG version with 20 months had noticeably stronger aroma, especially the rye, based on the contemporary notes. 4.25
Taste: The taste is much stronger than the aroma at the same stage of drinking, but still a bit faded from a fresh and the 20 month version. Rye still leads, but is less compelling and near equal terms with the sweet raisin and plum fruit. This all tastes a bit faded from my memory of fresher versions, and I would say while the refrigeration helped preserve this, it is not the same Top 10 All Time Beer for me as my previous experiences. Still very enjoyable, and the rye continues to grow stronger as this warms further. For me the 20-30 + minute mark is the time to dive in. 4.25
Mouthfeel: Still rich, very full body, light fizzy carbonation has held on over the years. Rye is sharp and a bit harsh, less smooth than my OG and previous cellar review notes indicate, which surprises me as I would have thought this would have mellowed further. 4.5
Overall: Everything comes together well, even after 52 months. However, this beer has already exceeded its sweet spot, which for me is in the 0-2 year range. Didn't intentionally age it this long, just got lost among all the other beers I continue to work threw on my slow measured pace (1 beer a day). Bottom line, I am enjoying this but will definitely plan on consuming these before the next release down the road, and drink my final two 2017 versions on hand before the year is out. 4.25
Hope this review was informative and enjoyable. Planning on going with two lighter beers over the weekend brewed by Averie Swanson, before returning to this thread next week with a Revolution 2021 Cuvee which reached the one year mark. Cheers!
Old Rasputin XXIII (Aged in Bourbon Barrels)
Bought this in the summer last year with no bottling or packaging date. As you can see the carbonation hasn't diminished one iota. Still a strong bourbon smell and taste noticeable as soon as you open it. Not sure how much longer I'll age the remaining single but for whatever reason this seems to fall off less than previous barrel aged old Raspys.
Always a favorite!
Final "bomber" in my possession. Prefer 12 oz for BA stouts, though still would purchase this format for a closure / 50% off sale and or a known bottle share with my brothers and or friends.
Lake Effect Superdawg Collaboration Barrel Aged Supershake
Comparing against OG review from same batch: Linked here, bottled April 2021, enjoyed and reviewed in June 2021.
Bottle Notes: 22 oz, I believe purchased April 2021 (I believe bottled in December 2020) on a great deal ($20 Superdawg Gift Card plus two of these bottles for $27 + tax & tip). 10.3% ABV, brewed by and at Lake Effect Brewery in collaboration with SuperDawg. A Barrel-Aged Chocolate Malt Inspired Stout. Cellared upon purchase until 2/20/22, refrigerated thereafter until this morning.
Appearance: Pitch black, nominal head or lacing, persistent carbonation) consistent with fresh. 3.75 (Same)
Aroma: Chocolate malt & bourbon blend, same as fresh. Strength consistent with fresh. 4.0
Taste: Base and bourbon taste also consistent with the fresh bottle. Sweet to start, a smooth bourbon opens out 20 + minutes in. Biggest change is I am enjoying the bourbon more today based on the notes, more smooth vs. a sweet bourbon noted in the OG review. 4.5 (vs. 4.0 fresh).
Mouthfeel: This body, light carbonation. ABV kicks in about 1/3 of the way in. Taste so enjoyable, I'm solo doming this in the 6AM hour, and enjoying every sip. This aspect improved as well. 4.0 (vs. 3.75 fresh).
Overall: Overall, this is one of the rarer instances of a solid fresh version improving over time (vs. imperfections dulled over time). Really liked the mellowing of the bourbon, smooth vs.sweet. Balanced overall, vs. leaning sweet fresher. This is a solid and reasonably priced BA Stout. Lake Efftect doesn't get the hype as other larger Chicago / Suburb breweries, but I'll keep going to their brewery for more (well, until they open their taproom in Jefferson Park, hopefully later this year). 4.25 (vs. 4.0 Fresh).
See you Friday with another Chicago brewed BA beer.
Long time no see, Cellar Dwellars! Good to be back. This one is courtesy of HotD’s cellar store. 2016 Otto from the Wood. A new to me beer so no fresh review for comparison.
Pours murky to the point of being opaque. Mahogany color, small fizzy off white head dissipates quickly and no lacing. Aroma is huge caramel and toffee, a bit of green apple, subtle cocoa, moderate oak, subtle smokiness, a scotch like peat character; quite complex and very nice. Taste is a combination of huge caramel, fruits, and scotch-like peat. Definitely reminiscent of a wee heavy, but more complex. It’s incredibly smooth, lots of fruit flavors including some old ale/ English barleywine-esque dark fruits, but also some less frequently encountered fruit characters like peach and apricot th at somehow work wonderfully. Nice oaky finish. Mouthfeel is silky smooth, remarkably so, and there’s zero hint of what is apparently a huge 13% ABV. This is absurdly drinkable. Overall, wow I am impressed. Truthfully I tend to find HotD a bit hit or miss, as their staple unique kind of smokiness isnt always my cup of tea, but man this one is a home run.
It has been a while, but I'm back with a 2016 J.W. Lees Harvest Ale. Poured at fridge temp. Pours a gorgeous light brown/dark reddish with a thin line of head. Nose is a smoky toffee, figs, port, dried grass, light oranges, and a little bit of bread.
The taste is dramatically different. Sweet and intense. That smoky note, which is characteristic of J.W. Lees, is definitely there on the back end. Sweet candy, toffee, chocolate, a bit of maple, oranges, sherry, plums, leather, and malty goodness. I love this beer so much, and it's fantastic fresh (I consider this fairly fresh) and much older (like ten years older than this bottle). I might prefer it a bit around this age, as the sweetness mixes nicely with the smoky flavor. I think the sweetness dissipates a bit as it ages more. Regardless, a great experience!
Back with another Revolution offering, this one canned just over one year ago.
Revolution 2021 Cuvee De Grace
Comparison vs. OG Review: Same canned batch, reviewed Christmas Eve 2021. (4.0 / 3.75 / 5.0 / 4.25 / 4.5)
Can Notes: 4/2/21 9:19:28 14.6% ABV. Refrigerated since purchase.
Blend found online: 14 barrels of Straight Jacket 38.9%; 11 barrels of Deth's Tar 30.5%;
7 barrels of Ryeway to Heaven 19.4%; 2 barrels of Thundertaker 5.6%; 2 barrels of Ryeway to Heaven/Straight Jacket 5.6%.
Appearance/Aroma: Let this warm 15 minutes before diving in. Appearance is the same, gettting a bolder Bourbon and Rye aroma, though I'm chalking this up to waiting longer this morning before diving in (stated these emerged as warmed in the OG Review).
Appearance: No change; Aroma: + 0.25 to 4.0.
Taste/Mouthfeel: Primary change is warmer, light burn alcohol feel, less smooth which is somewhat surprising as I expected it to mellow. Would note the body is full, vs. medium originally. Bourbon / rye keeps the barleywine sweetness in check, more so today. In some ways I like this more, the stronger harsh alcohol feel and taste I like less.
Taste: - 0.5 to 4.5; Mouthfeel: No change.
Overall: I expected little to no change given the less than 4 months since my original encounter. It hasn't drastically changed by any means, and perhaps I am looking more closely at any changes I can gather. I would still highly recommend this beer, not sure if it's just my perception or feeling today vs. on the day I originally reviewed this. Overall I would lower this score 0.25 to 4.25 if this was my first crack, primarily for the perceived alcohol harshness and slight burn.
My plan for next week is to pullout my last Mikerphone ISLBS, this one contract brewed, and compared to my OG rating of the offering brewed at Mikerphone. My second planned selection with be comparing my OG draft review of the original Revolution Cuvee (canned 12/30/19) vs. a can in hand (haven't cracked this four pack yet, and I'm down to 1 left for the more recent vintage).
Hope you all have a great weekend, and have a chance to crack open a cellar beer soon!
Bridgeport Old Knucklehead #12 bottled on 2008
When I bought this online from Holiday Wine Cellar for $10 recently I figured it had some years on it. I didn't realize that #12 isn't part of the name, it's a batch number. I probably would have passed if I realized it was 14 years old. I had this same batch back in April 2008 (got it from Liquid Solutions out of Oregon, anyone remember that guy?) and I declared it one of the best barleywines I'd had.
I wouldn't say that today but I am pleasantly surprised by this. First thing I noticed is the carbonation, it hasn't faded a bit. The body is a murky mess even with a careful pour though. I get a lot of charred toffee throughout that becomes a bit unpleasant toward the finish. Up front there are some sweeter elements, raisin, brown sugar, and just a hint of bourbon. Pleasant enough as liquid nostalgia, but not something I'd buy again even if I could.
2016 The Barista from Clown Shoes. I was given this bottle so I have no idea how it was aged.
Poured at fridge temp. Pours a nice dark and murky brown. Very thin layer of head that quickly dissipates.
The nose is coffee, toffee, oatmeal, bread, a touch of black licorice, roasted malts. No off notes at all.
The taste nicely follows the nose. The espresso notes are still there. This has held up amazingly well at 6 years! Toffee, chocolate, slight oaky bitterness, leather, dark German bread, oatmeal, graham crackers. Nothing is too dominant here. Nice mix of espresso, chocolate, and toffee. This is very good. The age hasn't turned the coffee into anything negative. Very impressive!
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the alcohol isn't really detectable. I would love to compare this to a fresh bottle.
3.81/5 rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
OG Rare 2010
Don’t remember the last time I checked in on this beer but it has to of been over five years ago.
Opens w a slight hiss
Pours jet black no head thin brown lace
Smells of faint chocolate, raisins, and barrel w musty cardboard oxidization coming through
Thick coating mouthfeel
Tastes more muted than years back less chocolate and bourbon but still very good
Finishes w a nice thick syrupy coating on the posterior palate and tongue.
Overall this is on the back end of its lifespan as expected being 12 years old. However, still an amazing beer and quite frankly one of the best barrel aged non-adjunct stouts ever made especially in this quantity. Was a revolutionary beer at the time.
Transferred 20 more bottles from the cellar to the refrigerator yesterday, and realized I incorrectly noted the bottle below as being fresh through 2022, I missed the mark by three years and two months. Hoping the beer is still great (or at least good).
Link to my OG review: Unibroue Grand Reserve 17 - 2013 vintage reviewed in 2018, 9 months beyond best by date. OG Scores: 4.75, 4.5, 5.0, 4.75, 4.75
Bottle Notes: Best By 2/12/19. 25.4 oz, 10% ABV. Dark Ale on Lees. Ale Breewed wth Spices, Aged with French Oak and with Natural Flavors added. Brewed and bottled by Unibroue, Chambly, Quebec. Imported by Unibrew USA, New York, New York.
Lengthy description summary: First brewed in 2007 to celebrate Unibroue's 17th anniversary. The 2007 batch won awards as "World's Best Dark Ale" for three years after brewing. In 2011, they decided to brew limited new batches once a year.
The website says this is unavailable. I am not sure if they are still brewing this, or just that the most recent batch is unavailable. It would be a tragedy if they stopped brewing this beer.
Comparison (Today's bottle aged 7 years 2 months vs. OG review aged 5 years 9 months)
Appearance: Poured 1/3 of the bottle. No Score Change - Dark ruby pour, generous puffy off-white head leaves generous lacing as it slowly dissipates. 4.75
Aroma: Slight regression - Limited aroma notes originally, this has warmed for 15 minutes, but seems less strong than the fresher bottle, and the flavors limited to light raisins and plums. 3.75
Taste: Taste is muted and less varied, no cherry. OG Notes: Roasted malt, raisins, figs, cherry taste. The whole fruit basket, very well blended, slighly spices offsets well.
This is all on me, this bottle slipped through the cracks. Still enjoying, but not the world class top 10 beer it was when within a year of best by. 3.75 (vs. 5.0 fresh).
Mouthfeel: This aspect held up well, body a bit thinner and less creamy than the OG review notes indicate, carbonation faint to non existent. 4.0 (vs. 4.75 fresh).
Overall: This is an enjoyable beer, though significantly less than perfect 3 1/6 years beyond the best by date. I really hope they continue brewing this, I promise you, I promise you I will drink fresh if I can find this again. That said, today's exercise reveals a full 1.0 reduction in the overall score. 3.75 (4.75 fresh).
I'll put out the Mikerphone ISLBS Tuesday, and Revolution 2019 Cuvee Wednesday, as temps will finally warm a bit here on Thursday. See you tomorrow.
This is what I think is a 2014 bottle, if I’m reading the date code correctly (and if bottling date is still 4 years “prior” to best before.
Carbonation is maybe a bit calmer, leading to a nice creaminess in the mouthfeel. Taste is all dark sugar, like caramel or toffee taken really far, but not burnt. Really enjoyable. It’s my last one, which is a shame because I’d like to see what this is like at 10 years. But I had my previous bottle of the same age a number of years ago, and I had no idea how far to let this one go, lest I end up disappointed!
Back with a beer I likely won't purchase in the future, but did rate highly for what it is. Still think this is far better than TG Mornin' Delight, at a much better price if you're looking for a non BA maple syrup / coffee stout.
Mikerphone Smells Like Bean Spirit
Can Notes: Originally reviewed fresh (within six weeks of canning - 4.5 / 4.75 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4.75.
Brewed and canned by Octopi Brewing, Waunakee, Wisconsin, on 5/6/19 @ 12:43 PM. Cellared until 11/28/21, refrigerated since. 12 ounces, 8% ABV.
Breakfast Stout Ale with Vermont Maple Syrup & Tugboat Coffee Roasters' Sumatra Mandheling Coffee.
Comparing vs. the OG review of same batch linked above.
Appearance consistent. No change.
Aroma features dominating maple syrup, the coffee has left the building. 3.75 or -1.0 (expected - chalked up to age)
Taste: Bitter dark roast coffee remains just short of 3 years. Syrup complements well. This is enjoyable, unlike the Imperial Bomber I drain poured after a few ounces two months ago. 4.0 or -0.5 (chalk up more to taste preferences and better perspective vs. when I began exploring this style three years ago).
Mouthfeel is consistent with fresh. Full rich creamy body, carbonation has held on. Drinks at ABV early, gets stronger as I break the 1/3 juncture. Chalking that up to a lower tolerance these days. No Change.
Overall: Not really in the market post exploration phase for these heavily sweet stouts. That said, Mikerphone (and their contract brewer, Octopi), did what they set out to do. This beer held on better than expected, was more lost in the shuffle vs. intentionally aged 3 years. Glad I popped open, not the shooting star it was fresh, part of that age, part of that my preferences, part of that broader exposure to the style. -0.75 to 4.0.
And I forget just why I taste
Oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile...
Back with another 2019 Revolution Cuvee De Grace, this one their OG Cuvee canned 12/30/19 and released to the public the next month. I posted a brief summary of the 5 oz draft at the brewery.
Fresh Review - Draft at the Brewery
2. Cuvee De Grace (4.0 3.5 4.25 4.25 4.0) Interesting blend, never had a beer like this before, but glad I did (had at the tasting yesterday, picked up a four pack today). The Stout, Barleywine and Scotch Ale blend worked well, very smooth creamy silky body and finish. Bourbon very smooth, barleywine worked in.
Revolution Cuvée De Grace. $6 5 oz pour. Revolution. Pitch black pour, off white tan head and lacing, bubbly. 4.0. Light wine and light bourbon aroma. 3.5. Nice very smooth bourbon pour, abv strong but well masked, silky smooth finish, easy drinking. 4.25, 4.25. Overall solid pour. 4.0. 2019 version
How has it held up?
Can Notes: This is one of the few releases I did not refrigerate after purchase (due to lack of refrigerated room - I took my inventory as a result and was shocked to discover my beer count was 453). I pulled this from the cellar 5/17/21, and refrigerated thereafter.
The appearance is similar, the head appearing more rich and dark tan. Chalking that up to the draft pour and mass production line on release day. The Barleywine aroma still leads the bourbon, both shine well after this warms 20 minutes in. This makes sense since Straight Jacket is the highest component (36% + 6% additional from two smaller batches).
Taste and mouthfeel held up as well. Very smooth drinking, the bourbon and barleywine are well featured. Body feels thinner than my review notes indicate. Light carbonation still there. Very powerful punch from the get go. Waited close to 30 minutes before diving in to get the best version.
Overall I rate this higher than the fresh review, though I would chalk this up to the fact that I was working via a 5 oz pour in a plastic cup, in a very busy setting, whereas this is a full pour, in proper glassware, with proper time and space to consider and enjoy.
Appearance 4.25 (+0.25)
Aroma 4.0 (+0.50)
Taste 4.25 (Same)
Mouthfeel 4.0 (-0.25)
Overall 4.25 (+0.25)
Bottom line is, I believe the changes are more a function of the setting as noted above, and that aging did not improve nor hinder. I still prefer drinking fresh, and refrigerating vs. cellaring cans.
May return with another heavy hitter on Friday, as the forecast (Fahrenheit) is 74 (Thursday), 51 (Friday), 82 (Saturday).
Wow - cool to see these still being tasted!